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15k SAS vs SSD for network-stored un-managed CAD


Is there anybody who stores CAD data on a network, who made the switch from 10/15K SAS RAID drives to SSD/NVME RAID drives, who would have some input as to whether this has improved access, read, save, opening, updating etc. times on assemblies?


We are looking to improve our overall CAD performance and it seems Solid Edge takes a long time to access data over the network. We are ~40 users working on the same server and all the CAD files are stored on RAIDed 15k SAS drives. We don't run a PLM/vault, this is un-managed CAD data.


I have a very fast workstation and find myself waiting a lot of time for seemingly no reason.


The IT is looking into caching solutions which would use a ~1TB NVMe drive but I have my doubts as to whether this would really improve performance, given that we may be many people working on very close files. It seems that would be a great way to confuse the network and accidentally write over something somebody else is working on.


Our assemblies varies from ~20 parts products to fully modelised vehicles which can sometime reach 3+GB total file size spanning over 1500+ files for the entire assembly. Many inter-part and part copy links, lots of surfaces and multibody parts.


Re: 15k SAS vs SSD for network-stored un-managed CAD

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Siemens Phenom

You seem to be looking at the server configuration yet you have made no mention of your network infrastructure.  You can have the best server in the world but if your network is throttling your access then the server hardware is just wasted.


If you plug a workstation directly into the back of a server with a crossover cable and run the same file open performance tests do you see the same delays that you see when on the network?  Regardless, this will be your baseline – nothing will be faster than this for workstation to server performance.  If your performance drops considerably after moving your workstation back into the network then start looking there.

Re: 15k SAS vs SSD for network-stored un-managed CAD


As Dave is telling already, it may well be your network rather than the server causing your performance problem.

15K SAS is absolutely fast enough to server the 40 people you mention.


On the network side, consider to upgrade or look into:

  • Multiple 1GB (or more) lines from the server to a managed switch.
  • Try to use a managed switch, allowing to deploy vLan segments. This will allow to move the engineering to a separate segment


But, looking at the size of the ASM’s you mention, it may well be an option to move to a managed environment.

Besides the file control you will gain, relation management will be enhanced.

Without knowing your folder structure, a large part of your delay in opening files is caused by relationship resolving.
All ASM files will be checked during the opening process on their relations between files.
If files are spread across multiple folder, regardless of the depth they may be nested, SE will check each of these folder.

In case the file content in the folder is large, it will keep crawling…

Once all relations are checked and solved, the complete ASM etc will be loaded into your RAM and partly paged on local HDD.


If you really want to make use of the potentials your workstation may have, you should look for cached working methods.

This means your files will be kept on the server, downloaded to the local workstation into a cache folder from which the work will be done….


Marc Boom